SOREDI and the Angel Investor Network held their Pub Talk Series Inaugural Meeting at Standing Stone Brewing Company last night. The turnout was twice what was expected!
The event drew a demographically-diverse crowd that included independent consultants, entrepreneurs—both current and hopeful—and seasoned techies who want to continue to contribute to the tech community. All were hoping to make a connection; hoping to plug into the tech network that is beginning to form as people emerge from their quiet spaces.
The group quickly filled the reserved interior space adjacent to the patio, gradually trickling out to the patio, into the slightly chilly evening air to hear the Angel Network members present their credentials and clarify the attributes they seek in entrepreneurs.
The Angels talked about past successful investments that have included The Farming Fish, located in Rogue River. The company has combined the fish hatchery process (AquaCulture) with farming (HydroPonics) to form AquaPonics. This amazingly-successful company has only two inputs: fish food and water. The result yields delicious tilapia, a fast-growing, high-protein fish; and an abundance of organic crops, fed by the effluent from the AquaCulture process.
In response to a question about what the angels might provide, Ann stressed encouragement and benefit of their experience with their own successful business endeavors. She stated that entrepreneurs are often looking for experience in marketing, finance and operations.
One member of the audience shared an observation about the idea of the network and the value of the network connections: this is a fundamental principle of ecosystems, where an eco system that has a small number of entities and relationships tends to be fragile and tends to go extinct, whereas an ecosystem that has a lot of these entities has a lot of redundant pathways and a lot of possibilities for innovation. The angels agreed, citing Silicon Valley’s burgeoning growth since the turn of the century.
The angels openly shared their criteria for success, talking about the Attraction Factor: smart attracts smart; techie attracts techie; success attracts success. Plugging into a network by meeting one person automatically makes a connection to their network.
As for the amounts involved in the investors’ portfolio, they announced that they have made nine investments thus far; ranging from $40,000 to $450,000. Some projects have been funded by an individual investor and others have been funded by the whole group.
How do the angels deal with the diversity of projects they encounter? How do they engage with the entrepreneur? They get technical advice from their network. The other aspect is that they are trying to build a larger network so they can refer entrepreneurs to opportunities outside the area.
When asked how the group was formed, they agreed that Steve Vincent was the catalyst. He found a dozen high-net-worth individuals who were community-minded and willing to take the risk. Because they are not accredited investors, the network operates on a peer-to-peer basis.
For all budding entrepreneurs who have the courage to start something, to take action to launch their idea, you are invited to join the network.
The next Pub Talk is scheduled for Tuesday, November 15, 2016, from 5:30 – 7:30; venue to be determined. Stay tuned, check your email, and visit Rogue Tech Hub Events Page for details of upcoming events.
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